New Documents Further Unveil Democrat’s ‘Russiagate’
Above photo: John Brennan. AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais.
A number of recent document releases shine new lights on ‘Russiagate’. That conspiracy theory, peddled by the Obama administration, the Democratic Party aligned media and ‘deep state’ actors opposed to President Trump, alleged that Trump was in cahoots with Russia. The disinformation campaign had the purpose of sabotaging his presidency.
To some extent it has worked as intended. But due to the legal investigation of the whole affair much more is now known about those who conspired against Trump. Some of them are likely to end up in legal jeopardy.
Some of those are the agents under FBI director Comey who used the easily debunked Steele dossier, paid for by the Democratic party, to gain a FISA court warrants that allowed them to spy on the Trump campaign. It now turns out that the main source for the dossier they used was a shady actor who the FBI had earlier investigated for an alleged connection to Russian intelligence:
The primary sub-source for the Steele dossier was the subject of an earlier counterintelligence investigation by the FBI, and those facts were known to the Crossfire Hurricane team as early as December 2016, according to newly released records from the Justice Department that were first reported by CBS News.The timing matters because the dossier was first used two months earlier, in October 2016, to help secure a surveillance warrant for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, and then used in three subsequent surveillance renewals.
“Between May 2009 and March 2011, the FBI maintained an investigation into the individual who later would be identified as Christopher Steele’s Primary Sub-source,” the two page FBI memo states. “The FBI commenced this investigation based on information by the FBI indicating that the Primary Sub-source may be a threat to national security.”
That the Steele dossier was potentially based on the words of a Russian spy should have been a red flag against its use. It seems that the FBI had not informed the FISA court about the dubious sourcing of the dossier allegations.
Igor Danchenko, the premier sub-source for the Steele dossier, had earlier worked for the Democrat affiliate Brookings Institute:
Danchenko worked at the time as a Russia analyst for the Brookings Institution, a prominent liberal foreign policy think tank.An employee of the think tank said that another employee, seemingly Danchenko, told others that if they got jobs in the government and obtained classified security clearances, they might be put them in touch with people so they could “make a little extra money.”
“The coworker did express suspicion of the employee and had questioned the possibility that the employee might actually be a Russian spy,” the FBI memo says.
Danchenko may or may not have been a Russian spy. But the fact the FBI had once opened a full counter-intelligence investigation of him which was never concluded shines a very bad light on the dossier peddlers.
Shortly before Trump was inaugurated the Obama administration released an ‘Intelligence Community Assessment’, concocted by hand-selected agents under CIA director John Brennan, that claimed that Russia had preferred Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. That had never made sense. Clinton was a well known factor to the Kremlin while Trump was a wild card that potentially would cause chaos – which is what he ended up doing. It only now turns out that several CIA analysts had come to that conclusion but that their thinking was excluded from the published analysis:
Former CIA Director John Brennan personally edited a crucial section of the intelligence report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and assigned a political ally to take a lead role in writing it after career analysts disputed Brennan’s take that Russian leader Vladimir Putin intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump clinch the White House, according to two senior U.S. intelligence officials who have seen classified materials detailing Brennan’s role in drafting the document.The explosive conclusion Brennan inserted into the report was used to help justify continuing the Trump-Russia “collusion” investigation, which had been launched by the FBI in 2016. It was picked up after the election by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who in the end found no proof that Trump or his campaign conspired with Moscow.
The Obama administration publicly released a declassified version of the report — known as the “Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent Elections (ICA)” — just two weeks before Trump took office, casting a cloud of suspicion over his presidency. Democrats and national media have cited the report to suggest Russia influenced the 2016 outcome and warn that Putin is likely meddling again to reelect Trump.
The ICA is a key focus of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s ongoing investigation into the origins of the “collusion” probe. He wants to know if the intelligence findings were juiced for political purposes.
Around the same time the ICA was written FBI agents involved in the anti-Trump investigation were messaging each other about Russiagate issues. A new release of parts of their conversations is quite damaging:
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents tasked by fired former Director James Comey to take down Donald Trump during and after the 2016 election were so concerned about the agency’s potentially illegal behavior that they purchased liability insurance to protect themselves less than two weeks before Trump was inaugurated president, previously hidden FBI text messages show. The explosive new communications and internal FBI notes were disclosed in federal court filings today from Sidney Powell, the attorney who heads Michael Flynn’s legal defense team.
The new disclosures made by DOJ also show that the FBI used so-called national security letters (NSLs) to spy on Flynn’s finances. Unlike traditional subpoenas, which require judicial review and approval before authorities can seize an innocent person’s property and information, NSLs are never independently reviewed by courts. One of the agents noted in a text message that the NSLs were just being used as a pretext by FBI leadership to buy time to find dirt on Flynn after the first investigation of him yielded no derogatory information.
In one series of texts sent the same day as the infamous Jan. 5 Oval Office meeting between Obama, Biden, Comey, Sally Yates, and Susan Rice, one agent admits that “Trump was right” when he tweeted that the FBI was delaying his briefings as incoming president so they could cook up evidence against him. As The Federalist first reported last May, that Jan. 5 meeting was the key to understanding the entire anti-Trump operation run out of Obama’s FBI.“The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case,” Trump tweeted on January 3. “Very strange!”
Brennan’s ‘Intelligence Community Assessment’ was published on January 5. The White House round also led to a renewal of the investigation of Trump’s incoming National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn. That investigation, codenamed ‘razor’, had had no results and was supposed to be closed. The FBI agents did not like the White House plans at all:
“So razor is going to stay open???” an agent wrote on Jan. 5.“[Y]ep,” another FBI agent responded. “[C]rimes report being drafted.”
“F,” the first agent wrote back.
“[W]hat’s the word on how [Obama’s] briefing went?” one agent asked, referring to the Jan. 5 meeting.
“Dont know but people here are scrambling for info to support certain things and its a mad house,” an FBI agent responded.
“[J]esus,” an agent wrote back. “[T]rump was right. [S]till not put together….why do we do this to ourselves. [W]hat is wrong with these people[?]
Last but not least the Durham investigation into the FBI’s operation against Trump released a protocol of an interview with an FBI agent who was involved in the investigation against General Flynn and in the later Mueller investigation against Trump:
A 13-page summary of an interview with Flynn case agent William Barnett, made public in a court filing by prosecutors just before midnight Thursday, [..] revealed that the veteran agent harbored deep doubts and skepticism about the merits of the investigation into Flynn’s potential ties with Russia — at least in its early stages — and questioned the Mueller team’s tactics in the broader probe of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians, known as Crossfire Hurricane.Though Barnett said he repeatedly expressed those doubts to colleagues and superiors — and says he feared groupthink and a “get Trump” attitude was driving the investigation forward — he continued to be included in the work of Mueller’s attorneys during sensitive interviews.
All together those releases by the Justice Department and the new reports again demonstrate that there was no legit Russiagate and no reason to investigate the Trump campaign. It was all a conspiracy theory concocted to make it more difficult for Trump to pursue the policies he had advocated during his election campaign.
It was even more than that. Mike Whitney is right in calling it an illicit coup attempt. Obama, his éminence grise John Brennan, and all those willing minions who were part of it should be in jail.
If all the energy wasted on peddling Russiagate had instead been used to push real political alternatives to Trump’s programs the Democrats and their voters would likely be in a better position.